A stroke is the sudden death of a portion of brain cells due to lack of oxygen. It occurs when blood flow to the brain is damaged, resulting in abnormal function of the brain. It is caused by a blockage or rupture of an artery to the brain. It has been estimated that approximately 40,000 to 48,000 stroke events occur in Australia each year. Approximately 70% of these are first time strokes, however about 12,000 people who have previously suffered a stroke, have another one every year. Incidence of stroke increases rapidly with age.

A recent study undertaken by the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University looked at whether short-form Tai Chi improved standing balance in people with chronic stroke. The researchers concluded that Twelve weeks of short-form Tai Chi produced specific standing balance improvements in people with chronic stroke that outlasted training for 6 weeks.